If you’re reading this on Sunday, good morning! I’m out of town and Chris Langley will be preaching. Most of you will remember that, following Winterfest, our teens decided to spend each month focusing on a different spiritual discipline. I’ve been preaching a lesson to correspond with each one. This time, Chris will be doing it in my place. He’ll be talking to you about the discipline of study.
In light of that, I thought I’d share this story about Bible Study:
In her book Amazing Grace, the writer and poet Kathleen Norris shares what she calls "the scariest story" she's ever heard about the Bible. Norris and her husband were visiting a man named Arlo, a rugged, self-made man who was facing terminal cancer. During their visit, Arlo started talking about his grandfather, a sincere Christian. The grandfather gave Arlo and his bride a wedding present: an expensive leather Bible with their names printed in gold lettering. Arlo left it in the box and never opened it. But for months afterwards his grandfather kept asking if he liked the Bible. Arlo told Norris, "The wife had written a nice thank-you note, and we'd thanked him in person, but somehow he couldn't let it lie, he always had to ask about it."
Finally, Arlo grew curious enough to open the Bible. "The joke was on me," Arlo said. "I finally took that Bible out of the closet and I found that granddad had placed a twenty-dollar bill at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, and at the beginning of every book … over thirteen hundred dollars in all. And he knew I'd never find it."
I’ve spent many years studying the Bible. It is nothing short of miraculous that it continues, after all this time, to be a treasure trove. No matter what is happening in my life. No matter how my circumstances or beliefs change. The Bible continues to shape me and challenge me and comfort me.
I hope today you’ll leave with a renewed desire to study. Not so you can know everything, but so you can know Jesus.